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Aragon WSBK: Melandri wins as Davies takes debut podium



Davies held off the works Aprilia of Biaggi for third
Davies held off the works Aprilia of Biaggi for third

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Image by Paul Sturman

Parkingo Aprilia's Chaz Davies has taken his debut World Superbike podium in the second Motorland Aragon outing this afternoon, clawing back a two-second gap to mix it up with Marco Melandri, Eugene Laverty and Max Biaggi in the final five laps.

The Welshman took a fourth-place finish in race one and looked like he may fall victim the factory Aprilia of Biaggi as they went down the 1.2km back straight for the last time but Davies held his nerve on the brakes, slid back up the inside of the Roman Emperor on the brakes and then kept him at bay until the chequered flag.

Laverty had led the race pretty much from lights out and the works Aprilias, with Melandri in tow, soon put a gap on Tom Sykes, Leon Haslam and reigning champion Carlos Checa with Jonathan Rea getting a poor start and giving himself a lot of work to do.

Davies came off the outside of the second row and was soon in the mix for fifth but made his way through as the front three pulled a three-second gap in only a handful of laps. Laverty and Biaggi swapped places as the laps clicked down while Melandri held a watching brief until only nine laps remained.

The tiny BMW man then went past Biaggi for second and then Laverty for top spot three laps later as Davies closed in. Biaggi followed him through and then went past Melandri for the lead but Melandri wasn't done though and put in a block pass at the end of the back straight but overdid it, allowing Laverty through and Davies into second.

A lap later, Laverty got it all wrong on the brakes off the back straight but somehow managed not to run on and still kept his RSV4 on the right side of the kerbs. With two to go, Melandri went back past Davies and then, as they started the final lap, passed Laverty on the first downhill section and was not headed again.

Laverty kept his head for second and Davies fended off Biaggi for fourth. Rea, meanwhile, let his tyes come to him and fought through to fifth place ahead of Leon Haslam, who will be disappointed with his weekend, and reigning champion Carlos Checa. Sykes ended in eighth with Ayrton Badovini and Davide Guigliano in tenth.

Leon Camier and John Hopkins both failed to finish. The American pulled in after ten minutes and then the 2009 British Superbike Champion came in with only a handful of laps to go.

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